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Kill Total:


Kill place:


Kill date:

30th July 1995


Sophie Hook

Date of Birth:


Marital Status:



Mad Howard


1981, Hughes came to the attention of police, when at the age of 16 he was arrested for attempting to strangle a seven year old boy so fiercely that he was rendered unconscious and had to go to hospital. He was convicted of assault, and placed on probation.

1985, Hughes was briefly admitted to a mental hospital in Northamptonshire but failed to make any real progress. According to a friend, he continued to walk the streets of Llandudno and look up girls' skirts while standing below a footbridge, as well as peering into the dormitory at an all-girls boarding school.


1987, he was charged with raping a 14 year old girl but the case collapsed due to lack of evidence.


Sunday 30th July 1995, at 3am police stop and speak to Hughes who is sitting on a bench at the end of the road where Sophie was staying at a friends house. Sophie with two friends were camping in the back garden.

At 7am Sophie's body was found on the nearby beach.

At 4pm that afternoon police arrest Hughes at his home on Colwyn bay.


24th June 1996,Howard Hughes went on trial at Chester Crown Court, charged with abduction, rape and murder.

The jury heard no forensic evidence linked Hughes to Sophie's death, but they received valuable information from three witnesses. Hughes's father Gerald told the jury that his son had admitted the murder to him shortly after he was arrested and being held in custody at a local police station. Jonathan Carroll, a 30-year-old thief who was in prison at the time he testified, told the jury that he had seen Hughes carrying a Hessian sack along a Llandudno street on the night of Sophie's murder, and that he had caught a glimpse of a body in the sack. A third witness, convicted child sex offender Michael Guidi, testified that Hughes had boasted to him some time earlier that he would like to 'rape a girl of 4 or 5.

The jury also heard details of the injuries that Sophie had sustained in the attack, many of which had been inflicted before she died. However, there was no forensic evidence to link Hughes to these injuries.

18th July 1996, the jury returned a guilty verdict on all three charges against Howard Hughes. The 31-year-old was then given three life sentences by trial judge Mr Justice Curtis, who branded Hughes a 'fiend' and recommended that he should never be released from prison.


5th September 1997, the Court of Appeal gave Howard Hughes leave to appeal against his conviction for the abduction, rape and murder of Sophie Hook. Two weeks later, the Court of Appeal rejected Hughes's bid to have his convictions quashed.

4th September 2001, Hughes's second appeal took place, but the Court of Appeal again decided that there were no grounds for his convictions to be quashed.

The judges who made the decision also ruled that they would not allow Hughes to further contest his convictions unless any new evidence turned up. Hughes then decided to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights, but has so far yet to do this.


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